Now ByteDance can once again focus on its long-term business plan. According to a recent Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter, the Chinese company even considers stepping into the car business.
Most recently, TikTok's owner has invested at least $25 million in a company called QCraft, which builds self-driving technology already powering minibusses currently in operation in several Chinese cities.
QCraft, however, is a small company, though it’s backed by other big investors, including IDG Capital and Lenovo Capital. It was founded by executives with solid experience in the EV and self-driving market, including former high-profile employees of Tesla, Uber, and Waymo.
So what is ByteDance planning to do in the automotive business?
Very little is known at this point, especially because the investments in the Chinese startup are still secret. But at first glance, ByteDance is currently sticking with a simple plan of backing other companies. However, it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise if at one point in the future it decides to join forces with a traditional carmaker for an expansion in the EV market.
Several tech giants are already working on EV-related plans, including Apple, Xiaomi, and Huawei. Out of these three, Apple’s project is currently in the most advanced phase, with a so-called Apple Car expected to hit the roads by 2024 or 2025. Apple is looking for a partner to manufacture its vehicle, as negotiations with Hyundai, Nissan, and possibly other parties have already failed.